Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ummm....This Could Be a Conspiracy.

So. It's been like, what, a week since I wrote about Maggie visiting and Twilight yadda yadda yadda. (I got a frantic call from her a few days ago--she is heartbroken about a leaked book? More on that later). Anyway, I also vented my frustration about the books on Apartment Therapy and received a fair amount of hate emails that had me (and a few of the other editors) laughing and laughing. Why am I bringing this up again? Here's why:

About three days ago, I am stuck in fucking traffic. In Pasadena. At an ungodly hour that doesn't warrant traffic. Colorado Blvd, close to the Rose Bowl at 1 am? IT DOESN'T HAPPEN. Unless there's an accident (but even then, there's not a lot of cars to be rubber necking), New Years Eve (the parade, you know), a football game...or worse...filming. (Side Tangent: I was once stuck in traffic on Western and Wilshire at 6 pm heading to work at the Wiltern Theater for a gallery show...I literally went 3 blocks in 1.5 hrs. Why? Because they were filming a car chase sequence from the movie S.W.A.T. Years later, when I finally caught the movie on TNT, I was like, "Huh. So that's what that looked like.") As I inched along, I spied those pesky yellow filming location signs, and then...horrors of horrors! A gaggle of innocent girls wearing peg leg jeans (ugh) and Team Edward tshirts (ugh x2) were huddled around the corner and about three of them were crying hysterically. It was...bizarre. I mean, I understand fandom. Case and point, I still know all the words to Ice Ice Baby (who doesn't? C'mon.) A part of me sat idly in the car, wondering what will happen in 5 years when these girls grow up...and cringe when they relive the memory of sneaking out of their homes past curfew to get some British bloke's autograph. Hell, I still cringe just thinking about watching Cool As Ice--and I was 12!

Which brings me to the leaked book issue. Mags was in tears when she called and wailed, "She's SO ANGRY that she won't FINISH the BOOK! She posted TWELVE CHAPTERS and it ENDS right at the BEST PART!" Fourteen years olds are so great at speaking in ALL CAPS, aren't they? I find it endearing. And hilarious. And after she gushed out the whole story, I got so curious that I went online and looked. Yes, the author was pissed and has every right to be. But I will say that I got a very bad taste from her letter to her fans. Let me just put it to you this way: If I were a wildly successful writer who churned out four books, and was going to rewrite the first book due to popular demand and it got leaked accidentaly, yes, I would be pissed. But at the end of the day, I would finish it off, post it online, and tell my fans to have at it. After all, if my fourth book sucked so bad that my own fans were launching a Return the Book campaign, I would feel like giving away a companion book is the least I could do to thank them. Or maybe go the JK route and donate all the proceeds to charity. Lots of options!

On the other hand, maybe this is totally a ploy by her publishing company. As someone who builds widgets and banners that track clicks and page views and what all else, it wouldn't surprise me in the LEAST that someone is calculating how many times her "leak" gets downloaded. That's some mighty fine marketing information...


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